DATE OF LAST UPDATE: 2/23/2012

CJ 8305/ (formerly 605) / CRN 10507

ADVANCED CRIMINAL JUSTICE STATISTICS:

MULTILEVEL MODELS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE & CRIMINOLOGY
SPRING 2012
SYLLABUS

R. B. Taylor

Main Course Page:http://www.rbtaylor.net/605_sp12_main.html

Instructor Home Page: http://www.rbtaylor.net

All users : See LEGAL link below.  Your use of these pages explicitly implies you have read and understood the legal conditions stipulated.

 

Links

TOPIC SEQUENCE

EXPLANATION HLML HANDOUTS

POSTER SESSION (will appear later)

LEGAL

 

 

 

Basics

Instructor R. B. Taylor (GH 536-7)
Time and Place MONDAY 3:00 - 5:30 (+/-)
Office Hours TUESDAY 11:30 - 1:30, and by appointment
Contact

TEL: 215.204.7169 (v). You also can ring 1-7918 and ask Ms. Major if we need to chat and the phone is not being picked up; ask her to leave a message for me
EMAIL: tuclasses at gmail.com
The syllabi powers require I include my Temple email on the syllabus. Here it is:
ralph.taylor at temple.edu but Please do not use it.

BlackBoard and Website Updates Here:
2/23/12 - readings revised for rest of semester


The Focus

Competencies

IN BRIEF: This course is about acquiring four competencies:

(1) being able to read and decode scholarly articles in criminal justice and criminology which use multilevel models (MLMs) (empirical and theoretical decoding);

(2) being able to understand theoretically what multilevel models are doing (linking analysis parameters to theory);

(3) being able to run multilevel models and interpret output (program running);

(4) practicing writing and presenting a draft of an empirical journal-length article (doing a literature review; writing up a literature review, describing methods, getting and presenting results, and discussion -- with some of this being done collaboratively )

Corresponding activities

The corresponding activities for each of the above are as follows

(1) You will acquire this competency by reading one or more journal articles just about every week, answering questions about those articles, and discussing them in class. Thes articleswill either discuss something that is relevant to MLMing (e.g., aggregation, neighborhood effects), or present a substantive piece of empirical research using MLMs. You also will be reading on your own additional articles related to the topic area of your paper.

(2) You will acquire this competency by thinking about, and discussing the articles we read; by reading from one or more of the suggested books; and by pondering the multilevel results you obtain in the context of the specific problem you are researching.

(3) You will acquire this competency by running the HLM program.

We will do some of this in class, but you will be doing a lot of this on your own.

Several different skills are involved here including

(a) preparing level 1 and level 2 data files;

(b) creating the special data file on which HLM bases its runs, the MDM file;

(c) writing, saving, and modifying HLM command files in response to errors returned;

(d) learning how to decide whether the results you have obtained are (i) what you intended and (ii) sensible; and

(e) if they are, interpreting your results in the substantive context of the problem which you are addressing.

How and where will you do these activities? See below under software.

(4) You are going to be analyzing a dataset and writing up results. You have two options here.

(a) Either be randomly assigned to be part of a 3-4 person team investigating a particular randomly assigned topic linked to (details on topic assigned will follow later) fear of crime / incivilities / anxiety / depression / social support / stress and coping. You will be working on a panel design data set of over 300 residents interviewed at two points in time a year apart in the late 1980s in Baltimore CIty just before the "crack" invasion hit. Residents are clustered onto 50 streetblocks (street segments) in 50 different neighborhoods. The contextual information provided will be 1980 demographic information about the neighborhood, and neighborhood crime rates.

(b) Or make a proposal to me about a dataset you have in hand, that you and at least one other classmate will investigate jointly. You will need to discuss with me beforehand the details of your dataset, and the specific theories and hypotheses you will be investigating. If you are interested in this option, the first thing many of you should do is consult your main advisor about datasets and topics.

Exceptions from either of the above arrangements for research topics/papers will be granted only under very, very special circumstances.

MAPPER NOTE for either (a) or (b). Several students in this course are also taking the "crime mapping" course. Including geographical aspects into your results can prove most fruitful. In the supplied data set, the neighborhood data set will provided in a shape file.

You also will be presenting preliminary results at a research poster session held on the last day of class and to which the department, and scholars from other departments, are invited. The research poster session will be a joint presentation of your research team, but everyone on the team will be quizzed about the project by interested session attendees, especially one very very interested attendee.

On the nature and extent of team work. When you are working collaboratively you may divvy up tasks including reading different articles. You may divvy up who does what research runs. You may use commonly prepared tables of descriptive statistics and results. But you must write your entire paper on your own, each of you, individually. We will talk more about the limits of collaboration, and why I am setting this up this way.

Follow-up activities

Twice in past course iterations of this course, there has been sufficient solid research accomplished for presentation of results in a dedicated session at professional conferences like ASC or Eastern Sociological Society.

I am open to helping coordinate this activity, but whether I judge it worth pursiing depends on several factors.

Such follow-up activity can be helpful to you because it means that you have another line on your cv, and it deepens your professional experience.

Several times past iterations of this course have resulted in publications based either on research conducted during the course, or later research done collaboratively between students formerly in this course and the instructor.

Those include:

Garcia, R. M., Taylor, R. B., & Lawton, B. A. (2007). Impacts of violent crime and neighborhood structure on trusting your neighbors. Justice Quarterly, 24(4), 679-704.

Haberman, C. P., Groff, E. R., & Taylor, R. B. (in press). The Variable Impacts of Public Housing Community Proximity on Nearby Street Robberies. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency.

McCord, E. S., Ratcliffe, J. H., Garcia, R. M., & Taylor, R. B. (2007). Nonresidential crime attractors and generators elevate perceived neighborhood crime and incivilities. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 44(3), 295-320.

Robinson, J., Lawton, B., Taylor, R. B., & Perkins, D. D. (2003). Longitudinal Impacts of Incivilities: A Multilevel Analysis of Reactions to Crime and Block Satisfaction. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 19(237-274).

Sorg, E. T., & Taylor, R. B. (2011) Community-level impacts of temperature on urban street robbery. Journal of Criminal Justice, 39(6), 463-470.

Taylor, R. B., Kelly, C., E., & Salvatore, C. (2010). Where concerned citizens perceive police as more responsive to troublesome teen groups: Theoretical implicaitons for political economy, incivilities and policing. Policing & Society, 20(2), 143-171. (The 2nd and 3rd authors approached me, seeking additional HLM experience. I developed the topic, they completed analyses and drafted paper portions.)

Wang, K., & Taylor, R. B. (2006). Simulated walks through dangerous alleys: Impacts of features and progress on fear. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 26, 269-283. (Done as part of a communities and crime course, after taking HLM course.)

Wyant, B. R. (2008). Multilevel impacts of perceived incivilities and perceptions of crime risk on fear of crime. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 45(1), 39-64.

 

I cannot promise that I can help each and every one of you who wish to further develop your papers that I will be able to provide successive rounds of detailed feedback. But I will do what I can.

Further, numerous students have gone on to use MLMs in their dissertations. In just the last few years these students include

Why MLMs? I do not see how this applies to what I do!
Hierarchical Linear Models (HLM) or Multilevel models (MLM) represent a significant advance in

1) social scientists' ability to understand how outcomes are affected by context,

2) how individual and contextual factors interact,

3) how outcomes change over time, and

4) how to summarize results from a series of studies.

We will be concentrating in this course largely on the first two uses of HLM, with brief attention to the third.

These models address a range of theoretical and methodological issues relevant to criminal justice, sociology, psychology, urban studies, education, and political science.

In simple, whenever the individual units of study (e.g., students) are nested within a higher level unit (e.g., schools), HLM is an appropriate, and some would argue the most appropriate form of analysis.

HLM refers both to an analytical technique, and a specific software program. There are other multilevel software programs available, like MLWin, MIXPROC in SAS, GLLAMM in Stata, XTMIXED in Stata, various modules in R, and others. In this course we are using HLM.

There are questions about whether MLMs are just a "fad" right now in criminal justice and criminology research.

I don't think so, for the following reason. First, many problems in research and evaluation in criminal justice are most amenable to, and only amenable to, a multilevel approach.

The interaction between the lower level unit and the higher level unit (e.g., the officer and the police department) is fundamental to numerous theoretical and policy concerns in criminal justice, and MLMs provide a systematic way to approach these.

Here are some examples of "units nested within larger units" in criminal justice evaluation or research:
Level 1 units Level 2 units
Residents Different Neighborhoods
Police Officers Different Precincts
Police Precincts Different Police Departments
Cases Sentenced Different Judges
Prisoners Different Prisons
Sentenced Drug Offenders Different Drug Courts
Juveniles Different Treatment Programs
Decades Neighborhoods
Offenses by year Offenders

You will note with the last two examples time is nested. This is a repeated observation setup. You will be learning how observations can be nested within the same individual, or the same unit. This means that MLMs can analyze much of the same data analyzed by repeated measures ANOVA, or even time series, and in some cases, depending on the circumstances, do a better job of it. MLMs have become a powerful analytic tool for life course criminology, and there is an avid ongoing debate about trajectories vs. latent growth curve modeling.

At the same time, I do NOT think MLMs are going to "solve" all or nearly all of our analytic problems. That would be asking too much. In fact I think many may become disenchanted with MLMs because the answers they provide may not be to our liking.

We have many theory and policy ideas around the interaction between person and context. But MLMs may often find that these interactions are nonexistent or trivial in the pragmatic sense. 

Alternatively, I think MLMs can help "push" us in our theorizing, moving us to think in more detailed ways about processes. For a great example see: Wilcox, P., K.C. Land, and S.A. Hunt. 2003. Criminal circumstance: A Dynamic multicontextual criminal opportunity . New York: Aldine deGruyter.

For questions about whether our modeling capabilities have outrun our theorizing, see: Taylor, R. B. (2010). Communities, crime and reactions to crime multilevel models: Accomplishments and meta-challenges. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 26(4), 455-466.

In the long run, my guess is that MLMs will become like SEMs and other general purpose multivariate techniques: very useful in a wide range of situations, but also easily mis-applied.

 


Assumptions

I assume you understand the basics of OLS multiple regression AND RUNNING SPSS, including:

variance
covariance
correlation
scatterplots
R squared
adjusted R squared
F test of R squared
b weights
standard errors of b weights
beta weights
t tests of b weights
constant
residuals
predicted scores
residual diagnostics
tests for linear vs. curvilinear impacts
coefficient of alienation
SAVING DATA FILES
WORKING IN SYNTAX BOXES
BASIC DATA PROCESSING STATEMENTS - computing new variables, transforming variables, and the like.

In addition, I assume you know your way around SPSS for Windows. This includes being able to write syntax boxes, and save them,

If any of the above terms is unfamiliar to you, you have some remedial work to do!. Please let me know ASAP so we can get working on this.


Readings and Books and Links

Required

There will be weekly articles and/or handouts.

ARTICLES
For class each week you will want to read each assigned article, and try and answer the questions posted for the reading. {NOTE: the question page is evolving, so don't worry if you do not see questions yet for articles later in the semester.] You should expect to be able to discuss the reading when you come to class, or, at the least, say specifically where you are confused.

Most (but not all) of the articles are substantive and conceptual.

HANDOUTS
The handouts that have been prepared. I call them HLML files. (HLML =HLM lecture notes). These are more statistical in nature. They may generate some questions and confusion.

Class will make more sense the more time you spend with these materials beforehand. I do not expect you to understand all the statistical details before you get to class. (If you did, I would be out of a job.) But I do expect you to spend time with these handouts before class.

MANUAL
You are going to need to spend time with the program manual:
Raudenbush, S.W., Bryk A.S., Cheong, Y.F., Congdon, R.T., du Toit, M. (2011). HLM 7: Hierarchical Linear and Nonlinear Modeling. Chicago: SSI Scientific Software International.

This manual is not available in print. It is only available as a pdf. That pdf has been placed on the Bb course website.

I have tried to match manual chapters to the different course topics.

You can download the full manual for HLM v 7 if you go here and download the student version of the software:

http://www.ssicentral.com/hlm/student.html

Recommended

BOOKS

Books are a problem in this course. Here's why:

The main text I used as I learned HLM was the first edition of:  Stephen W. Raudenbush, Anthony S. Bryk  (2002). Hierarchical Linear Models : Applications and Data Analysis Methods. SECOND EDITION Thousand Oaks: Sage.

There are three problems with "requiring" this text. (1) It costs a lot - close to $100. (2) Many students when they are done with this course have concluded that this book was impenetrable, not that helpful, and extremely expensive. (3) Given all the above, you may not wish to buy this unless you are certain that you will be doing a lot of multilevel modeling in the future.

So consider this a recommended text.

But if you do not buy R&B you should seriously investigate buying one of these two following texts:

(1) Snijders, T. A. B., & Bosker, R. J. (1999). Multilevel analysis: An Introduction to basic and advanced multilevel modeling. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Tom Snijders is one of the smartest social science statisticians in Europe (think Richard Berk for the Netherlands, but without some of the .... ). There is a new 2011 second edition of this book out and available at Amazon. It looks like the new version adds mostly to the advanced topics.The 2nd edition is about $40+shipping. [Searching for Abebooks for cheap 1st edition copies showed that they were actually more expensive than the second.]

The advantages of this book are (a) the writing and examples are clear, (b) you can sometimes find things in this book that are not in R&B, and (c) sometimes he helps you work through some simple math in figuring things out. The disadvantages of it are (d) it is still pretty mathematically "dense" in many places (equation scare sets in), and (e) it is not written specifically with reference to the HLM software. [These comments are about the 1st edition- assume they also apply to the 2nd.]

(2) Hox, J., J. (2010). Multilevel analysis. East Sussex: Routledge.2nd edition.
Joop Hox is the Netherlands' answer to Steve Raudenbush.
This second edition is new, and I have not worked my way completely through it yet. I see a lot of things I like. (a) The writing is clear. (b) He jumps in right away with conceptual and statistical issues about aggregation and micro-macro connections, which are key parts of the conceptual background. (c) He presents a model building strategy (his chapter 4) which is clear. (d) He gives a lot of attention to power analysis issues, which probably will not matter to you right now, but may in fugure. But (e) most importantly, he frames the entire enterprise as an extension of multiple regression. Drawbacks? (f) It is not written specifically with reference to the HLM software. Price: Around $42 + shipping from Amazon.

I recommend you buy either of these two, if you do not buy R&B. WHy? Because you may find that you need to use the index of one of these as you write up your paper. $40 seems like a reasonably priced insurance policy.

Here is a free book. Get it. Strongly recommend you read the entire volume, at your own pace, over the course of the semester.

Luke, D. A. (2004). Multilevel Modeling. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
This is available through the TU Library database front end. The database is Sage Research Methods Online.The book is in three sections. You click on the blue bar at the bottom to get different sections to come up. Print each section to PDF and you are there. There is NO difference between the free and paper version.

If you want a paper version it is available at TU Bookstore (should be about $13).

This link below may take you directly to the TU database link:

http://srmo.sagepub.com.libproxy.temple.edu/view/multilevel-modeling/n1.xml

Students in past years have reported finding this slim volume useful as an introduction. The downside is that (a) the examples are from political science, and the one example he spends a lot of time on has a weird dependent variable (percent pro tobacco votes in Congress by state); and (b) in the first few pages I have found stuff that is potentially confusing.

Links

MLM is growing like topsy. Luke (2004) recommends a couple of websites as being among the best. These include

The folks at University of Bristol (UK) maintain the following:

  http://www.mlwin.com/  [This used do be: http://multilevel.ioe.ac.uk/]

The folks at UCLA, of whom deLeeuw is one, maintain:

http://statcomp.ats.ucla.edu/mlm/ [As of July, 2010, this portal is no longer maintained; many links do not work. But some still do....]

These may or may not prove helpful.


Class Structure

You will complete the assigned readings on a weekly basis and come to class prepared. To help you prepare there are questions to go along with the article readings. You want to write answers to some of those questions after you have read the articles. If it turns out that discussion in class is lagging because a significant number of students are not doing the readings, and not answering the questions beforehand, I will revise the class grading structure to reduce the weight of both exams somewhat, and add a required number of written answers.  You should expect that I

The weekly readings provide the needed conceptual background for carrying out the work assigned, and for understanding how MLMs are advancing scholarship in criminal justice and criminology. Thus it is important that you keep up with the readings. They provide not only examples that help us decode MLMs, they also provide very interesting background for the conceptual work.

Once you get started with HLM after the first couple of weeks in the course you will be given certain types of models to complete with your data set, and you will be asked to write up some of your basic output. This gets you started with your research paper.

You will notify me beforehand if it is absolutely essential for you to miss a class. Given the amount of ground we must cover, a missed class may create a significant burden for your learning curve. If you do miss a class it is completely your responsibility to get all handouts, assignments, and so on, that were distributed.

There is a public research poster session at the end of the "present" a poster.


The Paper and Writing Resources

You will be writing up sections of your research paper as we go along. These dates are tentatively marked on the sequence of topics pages. On the dates that these are due, you will come to my office with a written draft, you will wait while I review it, then we will talk about ways that section of your paper can be improved.

Books and writing

For guidelines on writing an empirical research paper go to: http://www.rbtaylor.net/ralphsrules4papers.htm

Read this carefully. Multiple times.

Here are additional resources:

The link below has some pages from: Payne, L. V. (1969). The Lively Art of Writing. New York: New American Library.

http://www.rbtaylor.net/payne_33_55.pdf

This should help you structure your writing.

For more on the ecology of writing and how to write sections of a social science journal article, many students found this helpful: Silvia, P. J. (2007). How to Write a Lot. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

For an excerpt from this book CLICK HERE

For some serious help on writing mechanics you may any of the following helpful. These are dirt cheap on Abebooks.com .

You need to learn how to be a serious critic of your own writing style and mechanics. These books can help. Mechanics cover everything from spelling and basic grammar to how you organize your paper and stylistic issues.

Warriner, John E., & Griffith, Francis (1969). English Grammar and Composition: Complete Course (Revised edition with supplement). New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. [Be sure you get "complete course"]

Hodges, John C. & Whitten, Mary E. (1977). Harbrace College Handbook. (8th Edition) New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Strunk, W., Jr., & White, E. B. (1979). The Elements of Style (Third ed.). New York: MacMillan.

Provost, G. (1994). 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing. New York: Signet.

To quote Stuart Little, "A mis-spelled word is an abomination." So is a misused word. CLICK HERE


Grades

Your grade at the end of the semester will be based on

30% Final paper. It is intended that this be of close-to-submittable quality 
30%  Final examination. This will focus on the identification of an appropriate tool to use in a particular situation; and on interpreting results presented in tables
15% CREDIT just for turning in written portions of your paper ON TIME and being available to receive feedback
15% Short, in-class, mid-term examination
10% Poster session presentation

Grading Policies

1. Assignments (paper sections, final paper draft) are due on the date indicated. If you cannot get your paper in to me at class time, please send me an email explaining why, and let's be sure to have a follow-up chat. The assignments that I do ask you to hand in must not only be credible but also handed in ON TIME in order for you to get full credit. Same applies to the final paper.

2.  If I encounter solid evidence of academic misconduct I reserve the right to fail you on the assignment in question, and/or to assign you a failing grade for the course. I will try to state as clearly as I can the ways in which it is acceptable for you to cooperate with one another and network, and the ways in which it is not acceptable.

3. You do have a right to submit assignments for regrading. (The midterm, final, and paper.) You should state in writing the reason you think you deserve a higher grade, attach that to the original completed assignment, and return it to me. Your grade may go up, go down, or

Avoiding Academic Misconduct

CLICK HERE to see College Policy circa 1983 - I think this gives you the most detail. STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.

We will discuss in class the nature of academic misconduct, including plagiarism. You are responsible for understanding the different varieties of academic misconduct, and for understanding the Graduate School's policies as described below. If I encounter solid evidence of academic misconduct I will discuss the matter with you, and then deliver the consequence I deem appropriate. Possible consequences include: failure on the assignment in question (i.e., a 0); assigning a failing grade for the course; or attempting to have you expelled from Temple University. Should you wish to contest a decision I make on academic misconduct, I will inform you of the procedures to follow. The department and the college have fully specified grievance procedures for graduate students. 

The following
section is from the University's Graduate Bulletin policies and procedure page [
http://www.temple.edu/grad/policies/index.htm]


Academic Honesty

Academic honesty and integrity constitute the root of the educational process at Temple University.  Intellectual growth relies on the development of independent thought and respect for the thoughts of others.  To foster this independence and respect, plagiarism and academic cheating are prohibited.

Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of another individual's ideas, words, labor, or assistance.  All coursework submitted by a student, including papers, examinations, laboratory reports, and oral presentations, is expected to be the individual effort of the student presenting the work.  When it is not, that assistance must be reported to the instructor.  If the work involves the consultation of other resources such as journals, books, or other media, those resources must be cited in the appropriate style.  All other borrowed material, such as suggestions for organization, ideas, or actual language, must also be cited.  Failure to cite any borrowed material, including information from the internet, constitutes plagiarism.

Academic cheating results when the general rules of academic work or the specific rules of individual courses are broken.  It includes falsifying data; submitting, without the instructor's approval, work in one course that was done for another; helping others to plagiarize or cheat from one's own or another's work; or undertaking the work of another person.

The penalty for academic dishonesty can vary from a reprimand and receiving a failing grade for a particular assignment, to a failing grade in the course, to suspension or expulsion from the University. The penalty varies with the nature of the offense.  Students who believe that they have been unfairly accused may appeal through their school/college's academic grievance procedure and, ultimately, to the Graduate Board if academic dismissal has occurred.

 


Load

This course ends up being somewhat more demanding than some other graduate courses for some students. In short, for some of you, this may "feel" like a four credit or a six credit graduate course. Try to plan your weeks (and weekends) accordingly.


Software

For HLM we will use a specific program, put out by Scientific Software International. The main web page for SSI is SSICENTRAL.COM. This is a useful website, because you can look at the examples, and get help interpreting HLM output. I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO GO THROUGH ALL THESE EXAMPLES ONCE WE ACTUALLY START WORKING ON HLM. Here is the link:

http://www.ssicentral.com/hlm/examples.html

The College has bought a site license for this program. This means that you need to do your work on College computers if you want to have access to the FULL version of the program. College labs are available in Gladfelter 513, basement Anderson, and 3rd Floor Gladfelter, 8th Floor Gladfelter. I do not know at this time whether the program also is available on other computers, like at the Tech Center.

NOTE. The manual is for version 7, and the student version you will download is for version 7, but the lab is running version 6. I am not sure yet whether everything version 7 does can be read by version 6.

I suspect your v.7 command files can be read by v. 6, as long as the models do not ask HLM to do things that only became available in v.7. But: not sure.

I do not know if the data files that HLM creates, MDM files, are backward compatible between v.6 and v.7

I also am not sure what version of SPSS files v.7. can read.

In the last iteration of this course, there was an issue with HLM being able to read the latest version of SPSS data files.

You might be wise to save all your SPSS files in "older" versions.

There is, however, a STUDENT version of the file. See the SSCICENTRAL website for more details. You want to go to SSICENTRAL in the meantime and download it yourself onto your home/laptop computers

There are, however, a number of restrictions with the student model. Most importantly, you can not run very complex models Below are quotes from a paper I can no longer find that described the limitations of the student edition.



I know that getting to a place where you can run this program is going to be a hassle for many of you. I also know the program itself is prohibitively expensive for many of you. If you do end up coming to campus to run programs please  be aware that security in this building is not good during the evenings, and especially during the weekends. Please be cautious.

 

Additional Instructor, College and University Policies

This section includes various policies that apply to this course. It does not include all of my teaching and grading policies. Therefore, you may encounter policies during the semester that are not included here, although I have tried to be complete.

Disability statement
This course is open to all students who meet the academic requirements for participation. Any student who has a need for accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately as soon as possible. Contact Disability Resources and Services at 215.204.1280 in 100 Ritter Annex to coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. You may require special services if you are sight or hearing impaired, or if you wish to register for gaining extra time for taking exams or completing assignments.

 Statement on Student and Faculty Academic Rights and Responsibilities and Academic Freedom
"
Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inescapable facets of academic freedom. Temple University has adopted a policy on student and faculty academic rights and responsibilities." Temple University students who believe that instructors are introducing extraneous material into class discussions or that their grades are being affected by their opinions or views that are unrelated to a course’s subject matter can file a complaint under the University’s policy on academic rights and  The full policy can be found at:

http://policies.temple.edu/getdoc.asp?policy_no=03.70.02

The policy encourages students to first discuss their concerns with their instructor.  If a student is uncomfortable doing so, or if discussions with the instructor do not resolve the student’s concerns, an informal complaint can be made to the Student Ombudsperson for the student’s school or college.  Unresolved complaints may be referred to the dean for handling in accordance with the school or college’s established grievance procedure. Final appeals will be determined by the Provost.

Snow Cancellation
Yes, winter is here. This is a day class and the emergency closing number is 101. If there IS a closing I will post an announcement on Blackboard (if it's working) and on the main course page. If there is no closing, assume that I am doing my best to get here.

Religious Holidays
"If you will be observing any religious holidays this semester which will prevent you from attending a regularly scheduled class or interfere with fulfilling any course requirement, your instructor will offer you an opportunity to make up the class or course requirement if you make arrangement by informing your instructor of the dates of your religious holidays within two weeks of the beginning of the semester, or three days before the holidays if the occur in the first two weeks of class."

Weapons of Mass Distraction and In-class Computing
1. Turn off cell phones, PDAs, pagers, and iPods before you come to class

2. If by chance you forget to turn it off, and your phone or pager rings, I expect you to turn it off immediately.

3. TEXTING IN CLASS OR CHECKING YOUR SMART PHONE OR EVEN YOUR DUMB PHONE FOR TEXT OR EMAIL OR MISSED CALLS IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. If there is an urgent message you are awaiting, alert me at the beginning of class.Yes, we do have a break every class. You can check all of your messages during break. After break - everything needs to be off again.

4. Because we are in a computer classroom, I expect you ONLY to be taking notes or looking at relevant program pages.

I do not expect you to be websurfing, browsing, checking email and such.

Email
You would do well to start thinking about how to send email in a professional manner. You can get a book about this called: “Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home.” To learn more about this book CLICK HERE.

For this course you may expect that I will reply to any email from you within five business days. I may reply sooner, but there is no guarantee. If there is something we need to address speedily, it may be faster to chat with me about it at the next class meeting or call me at home.

Special Services
Students who may require special services should notify the instructor at the earliest opportunity, and I will put you into contact with the Office of Disability Resources and Services at Temple (http://www.temple.edu/disability -  215.204.1280). You may require special services if you are sight or hearing impaired, or if you wish to register for gaining extra time for taking exams.